Here are three recent top and blouse creations I'm really proud of. I'm particularly happy with them because:
a) None take lots of time to sew. Once they are cut out each takes between 2-3 hours of labor.
b) My sewing labor is well invested because they fit into my real life style well. I wear them a lot. They go with both the normal clothes I wear and also work for festive occasions.
c) They work well with my figure and clothing style so I want to wear them.
When I buy things I try to think about cost-per-use. $100 is worth it if I wear those comfortable, posture-enhancing shoes three times a week for 4 years. $20 is too much for a pair of shoes I bought to wear to a wedding and threw out because they hurt to walk in. (I didn't even donate them. Nobody should suffer in those shoes.)
I value my labor time even more than a dollar in my pocket. What does my value-per-sewing-hour come down to?
FIRST is my new festive occasion white silky blouse. I had this piece of material in one of my boxes I took down out of the rafters. Yes, the ones we put up there when we moved into this house 19 years ago. I remember I was originally going to make it into a pattern that Brooke Shields modeled. I'm so glad I didn't!
This is my favorite regular old peasant blouse pattern. I cut it straight down instead of following the pattern curves, so it's a little fuller and flows well with a belt over it. It's very quick to sew. The belt is a piece of very wide black elastic with one of those round black slider belt thingies sewed onto the end. I've worn the blouse three times over the holidays and it will work during the rest of the year too, even if I'm not dressing up. I can tone down the jewlery a little. My peasant blouse pattern works well with a vest on top too.
SECOND is the same top in a coppery challis print. Also from my rafter stash. Also my favorite peasant blouse pattern. I was really into challis skirts back then. I'm so glad I never cut this one out either. I've worn this top probably eight times since I made it about six weeks ago. I use that same black belt I'm wearing with the white silky blouse. Same cut-it-straight style.
I'm particularly proud of the THIRD one. It's a velvety, rib knit. I'm not confident about knit sewing but since I became a big fan of Lori Van Monan's wonderful "Sew Forth Now" podcasts I decided to get brave and really think about how to make my knit patterns work out . I made sure to use knit type needles. I cut up a favorite old only-fit-for-exercising-in-the-backyard hole filed tee shirt and used it as a pattern. I made it up first in a stretchy green velour knit (no photo) and liked it pretty well but wasn't really enchanted with the neckline. So next I laid out my old tee on this pretty black knit fabric, chalked around it - adding seam allowance. Then I used a purchased tee-shirt pattern that had a good neckline, but had turned out lousy in terms of the rest of the fit and chalked in the neckline. Boy, I am happy with this tee. I've worn it three times since I made it about a week ago. Yes, I do cold-water wash these tops in between!
The beautiful young girl with me is my very sweet daughter. I used to sew darling dresses for her but now the only sewing projects we both like are double sided, tied fleece blankets with appliqued designs. I've made two for her and one for her best friend.
MegRoseAlso published at http://megrosesews.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-stash-sewing-three-new-tops.html